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Unless the last iota of ego is uprooted, we can never really know ourselves

   Swami warns that the idea of us being the body should be uprooted. Unless the last iota of ego is uprooted, we can never really know ourselves. The real aspirants should grasp this truth immediately and try hard to get rid of the deadliest enemy — the ego. Swami adds that this is of course not at all easy and it is an uphill task in practice. It may take enormous time and patience to understand the full essence of this reality but that is no excuse for not trying with earnest and sincere effort.

   While talking about self confidence, Swami says that one should have absolute faith in oneself and in God. That is the fundamental doctrine of life. Faith really belongs to the individual. God and faith should be on the same level in you. If any individual approaches Swami with full faith, then Swami will definitely shower his full grace. Instantaneously, the individual feels that his sufferings have vanished.

   It is no doubt child's play for Swami to materialize various idols and pendants of God, different malas made up of rudrakshams, tulsi beeds, sandalwood, coral and spatikams with his divine siddhis and Devi's grace. When I witnessed him materializing an idol of Ganapathi in mercury to give me, I was stunned and taken aback. As a scientist, I was of the opinion that mercury can never remain in solid form at room temperature. Such miracles made me realize that the divine powers are supreme and beyond our perception.

   Swami sees with his divine vision what is best for a certain individual and materializes the appropriate item based on the person's need. He blesses various persons in different ways as per their spiritual wavelength. Any reply he gives to a personal question asked by a devotee should not be mistaken to be universally applicable to one and all. He, knowing the background of the devotee and the motivation and feelings hidden within the question with his divine power, suggests the best solution for that particular individual as per his karma. It is for the individual to faithfully follow and apply Swami's directions in his or her sadhana.

   At times, he gives different replies to different individuals even when the very same question is put to him. Initially, I could not understand why he gives different answers to the same question at different times. In the initial stages, I was apprehensive and nervous to ask him about this peculiar way of his. After interacting with him over a decade, I finally summoned up the pluck to ask him. He explained to me that truth can be revealed only to the extent to which the listener can absorb. If vedantic or other abstruse doctrines of spirituality are taught to those who are ignorant and hence not ready to accept them, it would only serve to destroy their existing faith. Radio transmission is sent at frequencies based on the tuning frequency of the receiving station. Swami has unlimited perception of each individual's need and knows how to lead each one of us along the path best suited to us. He often gives a red coloured knotted thread to many devotees and asks them to wear it. When I asked him about the significance of the thread, he said the knots which he puts in the thread while uttering sacred mantras signify the holy rivers. When we take bath wearing that thread, we get the benefit of taking a holy dip in those sacred rivers.

   I once asked Swami why all devotees do not seem to receive the same kind of grace from him. He immediately replied that the blessings and grace one receives is based on each of our karma of the previous birth. If one has done some good in the earlier birth, then the fruit of those deeds keep adding up. On the contrary, if one has committed any sin, then the grace gets diminished. As one sows, one reaps. Depending upon the karma, good or bad, one is born with the net balance. He further went on to explain that only if one has deposited some money in the bank, he can withdraw from it. In the same way, happiness or sorrow in our present life is the net result of what had been done in our previous lives. Moreover, it is the action and reaction of the individual which makes him happy or sad. So, it is also foolhardy to resign oneself to a life of perceived suffering believing that life's misery is solely due to the cumulation of previous births' karmic actions. We should try to do good and lead a life of piety at least in the present life, so that one can decrease the load of accumulated sins and receive the blessings of God. By seeing good, hearing good, doing good and of course with God's grace, we will never sink in life's ocean of misery but will definitely be able to swim through.

   Swami further explains to devotees the vital role of kula devathai (family deity). For obtaining divine grace, an agent like the family deity is essential. For any monetary transaction in the bank, each one has his own bank account number. On the basis of the account number, one can transact with the bank. The family deity plays the same role as the bank account number. When one prays ardently to the family deity, that deity, knowing our past and present, and the where, what and when of blessings due to us, showers the divine grace on us. Swami goes on to elaborate the reasons for different devotees receiving divine grace in different degrees. Devotees are of different types. For some, if advised a suitable method to receive blessings, they immediately try to obey the instructions with implicit faith, without an iota of doubt. They are sure to receive the divine grace. For some others, a holy man like Swami has to constantly guide them to ensure that they stay on the right path. There is yet another type. This type includes those who even after receiving all possible help and guidance, fail to experience the grace of God because of their ignorance and incorrect attitude. Swami says that God is like the sun, which sheds light and warmth on all of us in equal measure. The transmitter is the same for one and all but the receiver varies and one receives the grace depending upon how in tune one's mind is. Swami always cautions devotees, asking them to analyze what is lacking in them rather than finding fault with others. To obtain the grace of God, our karma and time also should assist us. One must have implicit faith in God and by doing good service to others without expectation and ardent prayer, one is sure to receive divine blessings. Swami slowly changes and moulds the personality of the devotees and with Devi's grace, he enables them to get rid of their unnecessary desires and directs them to lead a life of peace and happiness.

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